SEVEN Ryde Academy students travelled to Brighton to compete in the Southern Dance Class Awards.

The students competed in the annual one-day event, which is aimed at providing a friendly dance environment for young performers to showcase their core technique and talent.

They competed in contemporary, lyrical and commercial heats.

It was the third time Oliver Brunton, 14, had competed at the awards. He exceeded his previous rank in spite of the competition being the toughest so far ­— placing fifth in contemporary, and third in lyrical and commercial.

Chloe Neale, 12, also improved on her performance in the commercial category, and received the performance award trophy for her age.

Niamh O’Rourke, 14, and Lily Alexander, 13, reached the finals of the contemporary and commercial heats, while Yvie Partridge and Millie Maddox, both 12, earned places in the finals of all three heats.

Hilary Seaton, dance teacher and head of PE at Ryde Academy, said: "We were astounded by the phenomenal talent showcased by some of the competitors, some of whom have represented England at the Dance World Cup in Portugal.

"I was delighted with the results from our students, who performed like professionals and did the academy proud."